Saturday, April 16, 2011
Okay, so my kid's a poor sport
You know the kid who cries when the other team makes a goal? That's mine. The one who scowls at other players? Who gets bent out of shape if a call goes the wrong way? Yeah-- same kid. He's mine, and although I would very much like to march him off the field or slink into a corner myself to hide, I put on my stout-hearted mama mask and say that when he's lost 100 games, he'll start to realize that he's not going to die if he loses this one.
In the meantime, each week on the way to the game we pre-empt some portion of the disaster-in-waiting by going over what he can do if he starts to feel angry or frustrated. Breathe deeply. Focus on the game, not his feelings. Work his hardest, and talk himself down when he starts to get upset. Yadda yadda yadda; I should put it on an iPod and play it for him while he sleeps.
Ohhhhh, I catch myself thinking in frustration as my child stomps across the field, Why can't my kid just... And then I stop myself with the reminder that no thought that begins that way deserves to be completed. The only relevant aspect of why my kid can't handle competition is what it tells me about how to help him handle his feelings better.
So here's my question of the day: What do you do, or what do you say to yourself, to keep plowing ahead when the easiest (short-term) parenting strategy would be to give up? My bottom line is usually to remind myself, relentlessly, that my job as a mom isn't to feel comfy, but to help my child grow into a strong and healthy adult. But if there are other mantras out there, I want to hear them!